Victoria University students are increasingly learning in classrooms without desks, chairs or paper.
Over-sized beanbags replace chairs, writable walls help unleash creativity and screens with high-definition "telepresence" video open a classroom to the world.
The state-of-the-art spaces are part of a five-year makeover to many of the University's classrooms and lecture theatres. The Learning Spaces of the Future project involves less teacher talk, more digital learning, and plenty of collaboration with classmates in technology-rich settings.
The University is rolling out the new approach in selected courses at its campuses in Footscray Park, Footscray Nicholson, Melton and Werribee, especially for students whose learning style fits best outside traditional classroom walls.
Amanda Achterberg, Associate Dean, Learning, Teaching and Students says the new approach gives students more responsibility for their own learning. It also develops skills in problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking, curiosity and leadership – all essential for a 21st century student and the modern workplace.
"We're creating an environment for participation and collaboration that emphasises process rather than product," she said. "Today more than ever, the physical environment is an important component of the way students learn and interact."